A special Holiday Present


Photo by Kym McLeod from stockxchng.com

I know most of us have seen the posting on Facebook from Danielle Krienert representing USA Roller Sports.  In case you haven’t, let me quote from the first paragraph:

The Federation Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS) met for their Congress assembly during the World Roller Figure Skating Championships in Portimao, Portugal, on Saturday, December 4th. ….During the central committee meeting, USA Roller Sports gave a presentation on the rapidly growing sport of Roller Derby and requested that FIRS recognize Derby as another one of the federation’s disciplines.  USARS is pleased to announce that its requests was granted and Roller Derby is now an official discipline of FIRS – one step closer to the Olympic movement!  …..in the mid 1960s FIRS was officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the international governing body for all roller skating.  IOC recognition is the first necessary step for inclusion in the Olympic games.

And of course there is more about USARS as the official governing body representing roller skating in the US.  Please, this has nothing to do with the WFTDA, the OSDA, WORD, or anything else.  You are all in it together.

This will not be a short or easy progress.  Perhaps by the time it is in Brazil the local teams can have some impact in having it as a demonstration sport.  It is in 25 countries now, hopefully it will be in 100 by then.

How the game will be skated, what the rules all, etc will be determined by the governing committees and the USARS special committee that is being put together.

A big shout out to Danielle Krienert and her committee for really carrying through on this project.  The rest is in your hands and the continuation of the growth of the game all over the World.

I was born in the year that the Olympics were first in Los Angeles;  I hope to live long enough to see the Olympics with Roller Derby.  If not, I know that Leo’s and my descendants will experience the joy as well as all of you out there, except maybe for Merby Dick.

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5 comments on “A special Holiday Present

  1. Speaking just for myself here:

    There’s ONE set of rules used outside the U.S. at all. So what FIRS wants or doesn’t want is basically immaterial as far as that goes. Before they could pick any rules they’d have to figure out how the sport even works.

    The only input USARS has ever had into the rules was regarding safety equipment and the distance between participants and audience.

    USARS has taken our skaters’ and leagues’ money and given them inadequate insurance, a quarterly magazine, and some discounts that your CSAA card probably matches.

    We compete for their attention with three or four other disciplines. And despite those other disciplines dying on the vine (while ours grows), their actual interest in their sole growth discipline seems rather soft to me. Until they think everyone’s leaving they really don’t seem to give a damn about roller derby. I read their semi-annual meeting notes.

    My league’s skaters feel about as much members of USARS as they do members of GEICO or State Farm. Like a fair number of other leagues, I don’t believe we will be renewing our USARS membership. What’s in it for us?

    When USARS was putting in their petition for recognition, they had to ask how which leagues were playing internationally and how often. Which means that they didn’t know. This is the national “governing” body of our sport? If they were actually governing it, wouldn’t they somehow know?

  2. If you have knowledge concerning what Poobah is saying, please post here or at my facebook page. I would not want to endorse something that is not in the best interest of Roller Derby.

  3. There are over 680 leagues world-wide. There are multiple rule sets for adult banked track, adult flat track, junior banked and junior flat track.

    Like Jerry stated in his post, “Please, this has nothing to do with the WFTDA, the OSDA, WORD, or anything else. You are all in it together.”

    This is about the future of the ENTIRE sport, at all age levels and with all genders.

    International Federations are responsible for one sport (or a group of similar sport disciplines, such as ROLLER SPORTS). They create a common set of rules and organize international competitions. The promotion of the sport is also a task of an international federation.

    There are a lot of facets to get into the Olympics and I believe Roller Derby has the ability to get there.

    This is in the best interest of the entire sport, in my opinion.

  4. Hi Jerry,

    Tim posted something similar on the JRDA forum:
    http://juniorrollerderby.org/forum/rink/olympic-future-of-roller-derby-qa/#p70
    It was posted it in reply to an open Board member posting so we moved it to an open forum. I felt his points were valid but short sighted. I posted my personal view in reply to his post there.

    I think the relatively instant acceptance by FIRS caught us all a little by surprise. I had supplied Danielle just a few weeks earlier with the most recent statistics for Junior Roller Derby. Although we are not direct participants in the process, I am proud of the JRDA partnership with USARS. To be sure, a strong youth component is critical for the future success of any sport. You are correct when you say that this will not be a short or easy progress. I believe firmly that some of our junior skaters skating today will be amongst the first Olympic athletes when the time comes if we remain committed to that goal.
    Indeed there are other organizations in the sport today as you mentioned, but they each represent a single demographic within the sport creating a very fragmented community. The most important thing that FIRS can bring is a unified amateur sport with equal access to all athletes regardless of gender, age, or even track design. This is the key component that the JRDA has been searching for. True, they do not already have a framework for national and international competition, but they do bring years of organizational experience to begin the process. It is important to not be so short sighted in this process.

    During JuniorCon this past August the JRDA spoke in detail about this very subject and the challenges that lay ahead on a Derby Deeds podcast Episode 15:
    http://derbydeeds.com/page/4/
    Good stuff in there.

    Best Regards,
    Troy Twibell – AKA MAJOR PROBLEM!
    President, JRDA
    http://www.juniorrollerderby.org

  5. Hi Jerry,

    Tim posted something similar on the JRDA forum:

    http://juniorrollerderby.org/forum/rink/olympic-future-of-roller-derby-qa/#p70

    It was posted it in reply to an open Board member posting so we moved it to an open forum. I felt his points were valid but short sighted. I posted my personal view in reply to his post there.

    I think the relatively instant acceptance by FIRS caught us all a little by surprise. I had supplied Danielle just a few weeks earlier with the most recent statistics for Junior Roller Derby. Although we are not direct participants in the process, I am proud of the JRDA partnership with USARS. To be sure, a strong youth component is critical for the future success of any sport. You are correct when you say that this will not be a short or easy progress. I believe firmly that some of our junior skaters skating today will be amongst the first Olympic athletes when the time comes if we remain committed to that goal.

    Indeed there are other organizations in the sport today as you mentioned, but they each represent a single demographic within the sport creating a very fragmented community. The most important thing that FIRS can bring is a unified amateur sport with equal access to all athletes regardless of gender, age, or even track design. This is the key component that the JRDA has been searching for. True, they do not already have a framework for national and international competition, but they do bring years of organizational experience to begin the process. It is important to not be so short sighted in this process.

    During JuniorCon this past August the JRDA spoke in detail about this very subject and the challenges that lay ahead on a Derby Deeds podcast Episode 15:

    http://derbydeeds.com/page/4/

    Good stuff in there.

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